What Are Dental Sealants & Why Are They Important?

Being consistent with your oral healthcare routine through regular brushing and daily flossing are some of the best cavity prevention measures you can take, but it is not always that easy to effectively clean your entire mouth, particularly the back teeth used for chewing (i.e. molars).

Molars are uneven, rough, and a favorite hiding place little bits of food and bacteria. Fortunately, there’s another method you can use to help keep your teeth clean. It is known as a dental sealant.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are made up of a protective coating that covers the top part of your back molars in a thin film. This film attaches itself to the molars and acts as a protective layer for these teeth.

It is not intended to be a replacement for either brushing or flossing, but it can help prevent cavities and can even stop tooth decay before it has a chance of becoming a cavity.

Dental sealants have actually been shown to be very effective at reducing dental decay by 80% in molars, which is very important with for you and your family’s oral health.

A report released by the CDC in 2016 revealed the effectiveness of sealants particularly for children. The CDC found that never had dental sealants were nearly 3x more likely to develop cavities than those who did not have them.

How Do Dental Sealants Work?

Dental sealants work by sealing off your back molars from bad bacteria and acids that cause tooth decay and cavities. By adding an additional layer of protection, using a synthetic material that is impervious to the kinds of acids that are in your mouth, you are able to effectively protect these hard to reach molars and make sure they stay healthy longer.

Why Are Dental Sealants Important?

Dental sealants are able to reduce cavities by up to 86% during the 1st year after application and an additional 58% after 4 years according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

The question is whether this is a preventative procedure that you should be considering for your child or even yourself?

Here are the top 5 reasons why dental sealants are important.

Saving Money: The costs associated with treating cavities are quite high particularly for those who don’t have their own dental insurance. If you consider the fact that most adults in America have over 3 decayed teeth, the long-term treatment costs can add up significantly.

Applying sealants as early as you can, can also help you save money since you won’t have to pursue corrective treatments later.

Saving Time: If you have ever had a cavity filled you probably know that it typically involves rearranging your schedule and spending more time than you would like sitting in a dentist’s office. Worse still, you might find yourself not feeling so great the rest of the day.

Dental sealants significantly lower the risks of cavities, which means that you spend much less time addressing oral health problems.

Improving Health: Tooth decay can easily lead to more serious dental health issues. Even if the cavity is filled, the strength and health of the tooth will already have been compromised. As is the case with nearly all health issues, you had better avoid them completely as opposed to treating them.

Dental sealants will improve the health of your teeth in the long run.

Simple Solution: The good thing regarding dental sealants is that they are easily applied, don’t cause pain during the administration and last for a long time. That’s great news for children that don’t like going to the dentist.

Dental sealants are a simple solution to one of the most consequential and common oral health issues and they really work.

Non-Invasive: Getting dental sealants does not involve any drilling or injections. The tooth is conditioned and the sealant material brushed on and cured using an ultraviolet light. It is such a comfortable procedure that your child probably won’t even realize any difference in getting the sealant placed or getting teeth cleaned.

It does not take long to get dental sealants. In fact, it just takes about 5 minutes a tooth to complete.

Final Thoughts

It is quite evident that dental sealants have numerous advantages based on the information provided here. Dental sealants are painless, cost-effective, and easy to apply. If you want to learn more about dental sealants, be sure to discuss this with your dental health professional.

Reluctant Brushers? 5 Tips And Tricks To Get Your Kids To Brush Their Teeth

Good oral hygiene is so very important and starts with brushing those very first teeth that appear from about 6 months of age. But what happens when your little one decides that they don’t like to have their teeth brushed and fight against learning to brush their own teeth as they get older?

First, it is important to understand why children are often reluctant brushers and then employ some expert tips and tricks to get them brushing and keep them brushing:

Why Are Children Reluctant To Brush Their Teeth?

Most commonly children shy away from teeth brushing because they have had an uncomfortable or painful experience. You or another adult may not have intended to cause discomfort but if this did happen, then a child can quickly become reluctant to having their teeth brushed in the future.

Another issue could be that they have a sensitivity issue and may not like the feel of the toothbrush or toothpaste against their teeth. This may also result in the need for sensory stimulation which makes them clamp down on the toothbrush.

A child who doesn’t want a parent to brush their teeth may just be exerting a little independence. This is not defiance but simply the need to take control of their personal care and hygiene.

Children gain a sense of security from routine and brushing at irregular times can make them feel insecure about the process and resist brushing.

They may also have difficulty with the process if they do not see mom and dad or siblings brushing their teeth.

Another common problem is that your child may simply not be physically ready to brush their own teeth. Brushing your teeth takes a lot of coordination and children may only be ready to perform this task from the age of 7 or 8 years. Brushing should be supervised until the child is successfully brushing on their own.

Understanding the reason behind a child’s reluctance to brush is often a good way to find the best solution to the problem. Below are 5 tips and tricks from the experts that will help overcome any issues that your child has with brushing their teeth.

1. Visit The Dentist

From their very first visit, a dentist will teach your child all about the importance of brushing and the correct way to brush their teeth. Your dentist will also identify any oral health problems or dental conditions that could be making brushing painful.

Sensitive teeth, gum disease or other dental problems could be the root cause of a reluctance to brush and getting the right treatment to ensure that brushing isn’t painful or uncomfortable will resolve the issue.

2. Get The Right Gear

Make sure that you use a toothbrush and toothpaste that are age appropriate.

A brush that is too big can hurt and damage the child’s mouth while some brands of toothpaste may cause the feeling of a burning sensation in the child’s mouth (even those created for children).

Remember to use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste for children under the age of 8 years.

If you think your child has a sensory or sensitivity issue, change their toothpaste to one that is smooth instead of rough and ask your dentist about options for a toothbrush that is made of a different material.

If your child is a clamper, allow them to bite down on the toothbrush after brushing the bottom set and then again the top set. It should only take a few moments for them to release the brush and continue brushing.

3. Regular, Fun And Routine

Try brushing your child’s teeth at the same time every morning and night. Sing a little toothbrush song on your way to the bathroom that they can learn and sing along to or offer a non-food related reward for finishing.

Show your child what they look like in the mirror with a mouth full of foam. Have fun with the process and don’t try to rush it too much.

4. Imitation

Learning in childhood is mostly achieved by copying the behavior of a parent or older sibling. So make brushing your teeth a family affair and get everyone in the home to brush together.

Take a doll and extra toothbrush along to the bathroom and let your child brush the doll’s teeth while you take care of their teeth.

5. An Issue Of Independence

If your child is flexing their independence muscle, let them brush their own teeth. Also, let them choose their own brush and toothpaste when you go shopping.

Keep in mind that while brushing teeth can be fun, the goal is clean teeth so you may need to gently and carefully brush after they are done to ensure that all areas are reached.

Although the teeth of a young child will be lost, it is is still essential to protect them from cavities and keep them in good health. Tooth decay can affect the budding adult teeth below the gums and poor oral health can lead to the poor overall health of a child.

Which Mouthwash Is Right For Your Kids?

Being a parent of kids means a lot of questions that you need to find answers to. One of them is which mouthwash is right for your kids.

You know all too well that the oral healthcare habits that a kid is instilled with in their earliest years will likely turn into lifelong habits that have more impact on the health of their teeth and mouth than nearly anything else.

As such, you want to get them in the habit of not just brushing twice a day or more, but also flossing and using mouthwash on a regular basis.

The first thing that you need to do is figure out what kind of needs you’re trying to fill with adding mouthwash to the oral care routine of your kids.

Mouthwash products available in the modern market are diverse and tremendously versatile. Are you just wanting for them to clear up their bad breath? Or are you looking to help them reduce their tooth decay and strengthen their enamel?

When you know just what you’re looking for in your mouthwash, then you’re going to be in a much better position to pick a good one for your kid.

There are primarily two kinds of mouthwash that are available. The first is cosmetic, and the second is therapeutic.

Cosmetic mouthwash reduces bad breath and can give your mouth a pleasant and clean taste. On the other hand, cosmetic mouthwash might just treat the symptoms of bad breath. That means it can act more like a masking agent that will just overcome bad breath.

On the other hand, therapeutic mouthwash can help with the treatment of tooth decay while reducing the buildup of plaque and preventing gingivitis. It might freshen the breath of your kids as effectively as cosmetic mouthwash, but it can still help ward off the many causes behind bad breath.

Before you incorporate any mouthwash, therapeutic or cosmetic, into your kid’s oral health routine, you should call your children’s pediatric dentist and talk to them about it.

There are fortunately many mouthwashes that are specially designed for kids to use, and many of them don’t have any alcohol in them. Mouthwash for kids is typically therapeutic and will take care of any bad breath that is present. Such mouthwashes also tend to come in flavors that kids love, often also featuring favorite superheroes or cartoon characters. Kid’s mouthwash can help fight cavities as well as help improve their enamel strength.

At a minimum, be sure that any child’s mouthwash that you buy has the ADA seal of approval. That can help you find a certain mouthwash that’s been tested rigorously as well as approved by a reputable and legitimate association which advocates for good oral health.

When can kids start using mouthwash?

That might be another one of those million questions you have to find answers for. The short answer is when your dentist says they can. In lieu of that, the more general guideline is that mouthwash shouldn’t be used by kids who are 6 years of age or younger. Swallowing hazards are too prevalent. There might be instances where mouthwash gets prescribed for kids under 6 years old, but these are exceptions that only happen in special cases which your dental office would be mindful of and responsible for.

Of course, the best thing you can do to answer this question is to consult your family dentist to get their recommendations. If you have kids of different ages in the family, then you might have to get different recommendations for each age range. For that matter, each kid might need their own mouthwash just based on their own personal oral health and development.

It’s good to get multiple suggestions for each kid because as finicky and picky as kids can get, it might take some experimentation to find out just which particular flavor or brand winds up ‘sticking’ as the one they’re willing to put up with or even possibly eager to use on their own. That certainly reduces your stress and workload a lot as a parent, which is always a welcome plus.

Another consideration you should keep in mind is safety.

If you have kids both over and under 6 years of age, then the younger kids might get curious about mouthwash if they see their older siblings using it, since they want to be like their older brothers and sisters. They might even be jealous of what others are getting to do. Find bottles with enough safety features that you can keep the youngest ones out of anything they’re not ready for.

The last factor is also your budget.

Great mouthwash doesn’t have to be expensive, but sometimes it is. Also, if your family is using a variety of kinds of mouthwash, space in the bathrooms can get tight.

Tips On Choosing A Pediatric Dentist In Jacksonville And When To Schedule Your First Visit

When it comes to helping your children take care of their teeth, it’s really never too early to start. You can begin on your own by taking the initiative and brushing your baby’s first teeth regularly so that they get used to the idea that, it’s every single day, at least twice, no exceptions. That habit alone will help your child have better teeth than otherwise.

As soon as there are several teeth, flossing regularly is also another great habit. After that, it’s important to find a good pediatric Jacksonville dentist and make an appointment. Here are some tips on how to choose one, and about the right age to make your first appointment.

The Qualities To Look For In A Pediatric Dentist

Not every doctor is well suited at treating children and neither is every dentist. It takes a certain personality, a lot of patience, and a big heart to treat children in dentistry.

Some children won’t open their mouth, cry the whole time, or even refuse to get into the chair.

Pediatric dentistry can be very difficult at times.

However, a dentist that has chosen to work in the pediatric field has taken the regular long years of dental school and then an additional year or so of special courses to treat children’s teeth and recognize any diseases, abnormalities, or other problems that are unique to children.

In addition to that, they are trained in dozens of ways to keep children calm, pain-free, entertained and coming back for more appointments.

You’ll also note that many of the dental tools that they use are made smaller to fit a child’s mouth.

They have more pain-free options to keep from causing undue stress and discomfort.

They’ll usually have their offices, waiting rooms, and even bathrooms designed with children in mind. This helps keep children at least interested in coming back again.

Exactly When Should You Consider Making Your Child’s First Appointment

Of course, the first appointment should probably be just an introduction to the dentist’s office, waiting room, a quick exam to see that there are no foreseeable problems, and a toy or sucker for the child.

Most dentistry today is highly focused on preventative maintenance, stopping problems before they arise. For that effort, exams, cleaning, instructions on brushing and flossing at home are the key points at first.

The best advice on when to see the dentist for the first time for a child is within 6 months of the time their first tooth comes in.

However, if their teeth seem to be late-breaking through, anytime after the age of 1 year is a good first exam. It won’t be a long drawn out affair, just a quick look, lots of education, and some advice for the parents in maintaining their daily routines of brushing and flossing.

At that time, the pediatric dentist will give the best advice on when the next appointment would be appropriate and that’s going to be an important visit.

What Are Some Of The Ways Pediatric Dentists Stop Cavities?

Dentists today have begun to understand how important baby teeth are to keeping adult teeth cavity-free.

Children that have lots of cavities in their baby teeth tend to have lots of them in their adult teeth as well. Some of that is due to poor dental hygiene, and some of it has to do with their tooth enamel, but going to the dentist can help.

There are now sealants that can be applied to teeth that keep them protected from cavities. These sealants are very tough and will quickly make a firm bond with the chewing surface of the tooth. They are especially effective on the molars in the back where they do a good job of preventing cavities in the grooves and depressions of the teeth.

Sealants can be applied as soon as the first adult molars emerge and reapplied through the more cavity-prone years up to about age 18

If you’re just now thinking about taking your child to a dentist, that’s a good sign. You can call a pediatric dentist and talk to one of their staff to get any detailed information you need. They are often very helpful in any possible manner that they can be.

If you want to stop by without your child just to check out their office and talk to a dentist, they’ll understand and schedule you some time to make you feel comfortable on your visit.

Easy Ways To Help Your Kids Become Comfortable With Dental Care and Dentist Appointments

Taking your child to the dentist is vital to keep their teeth healthy and promote ideal dental hygiene habits. However, for most kids, it only takes the word ‘dentist’ to send them on a frenzy.

Of course, you want the best for your child, but forcing a fussy child to the dentist’s office can be a nightmare.

To help ease the dentist’s appointment, here are a few things you can do to make them relaxed and comfortable.

Start The Visits When They are Young

It is advisable to take your kid to the dentist as soon as the first tooth arrives. Taking them to dental appointments when they are young is not just beneficial for their oral health in the long haul, but it also gets them familiarized with the dental office. It helps them stay relaxed and comfortable with the procedures and ideally helps build trust with the practitioner.

Also, you will be able to educate them on the importance of dental care while they are still young.

Read Them Dental Storybooks for Children

A fun way to help get rid of the phobia and even get a kid excited about visiting the dentist is through picture story books.

With colorful illustrations and easy to comprehend language, the young one will have a better idea of what to expect at the visit.

Play ‘Dentist’ with The Kids at Home

Before taking your kid to a dentist’s appointment, it usually pays to have a pretend visit first. Let them role-play as he or she pretends to work on your teeth and vice versa.

With a mirror, toothbrush, and chair, it’s easy to set up a pretend dental appointment at home. Walk them through what the visit will be like at the real dental office.

You can even practice pretend activities such as cleaning and counting teeth on stuffed animals or on each other.

Communicate, but Remember to Keep it Simple

You do not want to tell your kid about their appointment with the dentist at the last minute, because they won’t be mentally ready. Keep them informed regarding the visit up front and continue to remind them as the day approaches.

However, limit the details that you tell them and remind them that they can also ask the dentist questions. Ensure you answer any questions they may have by being straight-forward.

Also, don’t say everything will be fine, because if they end up requiring treatment, they might lose trust in you as well as the dentist.

Use Positive Terms

Avoid using phrases such as hurt, painful, etc., when discussing the dental visit. The dentist knows what terms work best when introducing children to dental procedures.

You can ask them beforehand on how to communicate with comforting and safe words.

Telling your kid that you are going to count their teeth, check their smile and help them have strong teeth will make them less paranoid about visiting the dentist.

Use Praise and Not Bribery

Bribery often sends the wrong message to the kids regarding visits to the dentist. Offering candy if they do not cry or fuss can make them wonder why the practitioner is bad enough to upset them.

Ideally, sugary sweets aren’t the way to go when you are trying to teach the child about preventing cavities.

Positive reinforcement in such cases is often better. When they show good behavior, commend them and encourage them with stickers or similar items after a successful visit.

Visit a Pediatric Dentist

When dealing with the oral health of a young one, visiting a pediatric dentist is the best solution. These kinds of dentists have two to three years of specialty training, limiting their practice to working on kids.

Working with practitioners who are trained to work with children lays the foundation of an ideal experience from the infant to the adolescent stage.

Also, pediatric dentists are usually affiliated with other child specialists, thus giving you access to a large network of health practitioners.

Last but not least, you should teach your child the importance of dental health. Brushing on a regular basis, flossing, regular dentist visits, avoiding sugary foods etc.

Teach them that the dentist is an invaluable asset when it comes to having strong and healthy teeth.

What Are The Best Tips For Oral Hygiene?

Taking proper care of your teeth is the key to maintaining optimal oral hygiene. There are plenty of different things that you can do to ensure that you are taking good care of your teeth. In this article, we will discuss some of the best tips for maintaining optimal oral hygiene.

Tips For Maintaining Optimal Oral Hygiene:

1. Brush Your Teeth Before You Go To Bed.

One of the biggest mistakes that some people make is going to bed without brushing their teeth. You want to brush your teeth a minimum of twice per day. You should make it a habit to brush your teeth right before you go to sleep.

Otherwise, you are giving plaque and bacteria a full 8 hours to eat at the enamel of your teeth. By brushing your teeth prior to going to sleep, you will be able to minimize plaque build up and the damage that can be done while you sleep.

2. Get An Electric Toothbrush.

An electric toothbrush is an excellent investment that you can make in your oral health. While it’s not necessarily inherently better than a manual toothbrush, you are much more likely to brush your teeth properly with one.

By having an electric toothbrush, you will be much more likely to brush your teeth effectively enough to remove harmful plaque from your teeth. Also, some electric toothbrushes are much better at getting rid of plaque.

3. Brush For A Full Two Minutes.

A lot of people don’t fully understand how to brush their teeth. If you are not brushing your teeth for a full two minutes, you are doing it improperly. You want to brush your teeth for a full two minutes at a minimum. Setting a timer while you are brushing your teeth will guarantee that you hit the two-minute mark each and every time.

4. Always Floss After You Eat.

While brushing is important, flossing is equally as important. Flossing is the only way that you will be able to get rid of plaque buildup and bacteria in between your teeth.

Brushing has it’s limitations and getting in between teeth is one of them. Therefore, you should be using high-quality floss to get in between your teeth and to get rid of bacteria at your gum line.

If you are someone that has really bad plaque build up, genetics, or problems with your gums, you will want to get expanding floss to help clean up your gum line properly.

5. Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks.

One of the best things that you can do to improve your dental hygiene would be to avoid sugar altogether. Bacteria and plaque thrive off of sugar. By depriving your mouth of sugar, it is going to create an environment where plaque and bacteria simply cannot survive or thrive.

6. Regularly Go To The Dentist.

If you are not already going to the dentist a minimum of twice per year, you are doing yourself a disservice. You should be getting not only dental checkups twice a year, but also professional cleanings twice a year. By doing this, you will be able to ensure that plaque and tartar doesn’t buildup on your teeth and at your gum line for too long. Having this type of buildup can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Going to the dentist regularly will give you the best opportunity to keep your oral hygiene as optimal as possible.

There is a lot that you can do to improve your oral hygiene. By following the many tips above, you should be able to dramatically improve your oral health.